2) This isn't 1993 (when the U.S. electorate was still on a rightward swing and Ellen DeGeneres's lesbian kiss on TV was a huge controversy). Thanks in part to Bill Clinton--yes, the same guy who sold LGBT people out on DOMA and DADT--who appointed openly gay people to high-level posts in his administration and was willing to say the words "gay and lesbian" out loud, and in part to the growing visibility of LGBT people in other parts of public life and culture, queerness isn't as taboo as it was.
Also, thanks to George Bush's terrible foreign policy, we need all the servicemembers we can get, and the American people know it.
3) Even within the supposedly conservative armed forces, support for repeal is very high. Cf. http://www.sldn.org/pages/polling-data . Among the general population, several polls show more than 70% support for repeal.
4) Yes, Obama needs to tread carefully with the top brass, but even the top brass who were dead-set against openly gay & lesbian servicemembers in 1993 now say they regret the policy. If Obama's team emphasizes the great need for, say, the decorated Arabic-speaking lesbian and gay people who have been discharged solely because of this dumb policy, I don't see how Gates could raise much of a stink. (Gates should go anyway, but that's another topic.)
5) Obama needs to win back some good will on the part of the LGBT community. This would be a good start, and much easier politically than repeal of DOMA (which he also needs to take the lead on soon or be forever on the wrong side of history).
By 2011-2012, marriage equality will be the law in NJ, VT, NH, MA, NY, IA, and I hope CA and several other states as well. (It would be lovely if President Obama and the Democratic Congressional leaders also made repeal of DOMA a priority between now and then.)
This may provoke a siege mentality in the reddest of the red states, but they already have anti-marriage amendments. Meanwhile all the pragmatic and progressive people will notice that the sky hasn't fallen, see the joyful pictures of married couples in the paper, start to learn about all the federal rights that are denied to couples based on CIVIL marital status, etc.
Huffington Post Mutes Women's Voices
New media, same gender imbalance
By Jessica Wakeman
Women's voices have long been lacking in corporate media. As Internet outlets compete more and more with traditional media as a source for news and opinion, will women's voices be heard there more frequently than in print publications? If the Huffington Post, one of the most prominent and successful blogs today, is an accurate barometer, the answer is no.
The Huffington Post is a left-leaning site that features opinion pieces by the site's founder and editor-in-chief, Arianna Huffington, as well as by a wide assortment of guest bloggers. According to the blog-tracking website Technorati, it is the single most-linked-to blog as of September 2008; Nielsen Online ranks it the 28th most popular news site in the U.S. (Editor & Publisher, 9/16/08). By at least one measurement (Alexa.com), it has surpassed in popularity some of its big corporate competitors, like Time.com and Newsweek.com.
The site highlights 13 "featured blog posts" on the home page at a time, and that selection is updated regularly. Extra! recorded those featured bylines twice every weekday for nine weeks and coded them by gender.* During the study period (7/7/08-9/5/08), only 255 of 1,125 bylines--23 percent--belonged to women.
The Post does seem to be making a conscious effort to include women's voices; despite the low percentages, the study found at least one female byline on the home page at all times. But if there is indeed such an effort, it stops far short of parity. Of the 89 times bylines were checked during the study, not once did the number of women's bylines equal those belonging to men. Only eight times did women account for more than a third of all bylines. And Arianna Huffington, appearing 57 times, accounted for more than a fifth of all women's bylines; 45 of those occupied the most visible top post. Only once, in fact, did a woman other than Arianna Huffington get her byline in the most visible top slot--Post editor-at-large Nora Ephron (8/26/08).
While the Huffington Post provides an outlet for certain voices that seldom make it into the corporate media, it falls perfectly in line with elite print media's abysmal gender numbers. In Extra!'s 2005 op-ed study (5-6/05) of major newspapers and magazines, U.S. News & World Report led magazines with a still-dismal 28 percent of op-eds penned by women, followed by Newsweek at 23 percent and Time at 13 percent. Newspapers fared even worse: Women's bylines appeared on 20 percent of op-eds in the Los Angeles Times, 17 percent in the New York Times and 10 percent in the Washington Post. For syndicated columnists, the numbers were likewise low, with women writing 24 percent of columns at the eight major syndicates (Editor & Publisher, 3/15/05)--which still beats the Huffington Post....